“Archaeopteryx” 2014. Acrylic, coloured pencil, sand, feathers on paper. SOLD.

2014. Acrylic, pencil, sand, feathers on paper. SOLD.

The study of the beautifully preserved fossil Archaeopteryx was exciting and fascinating, particularly due to my ongoing interest in birds. Found in the Solnhofen quarries in Germany, Archaeopteryx is considered the first bird of the late Jurassic period, dated approximately 150 million years ago. The fossil reveals details of beautiful long wings and tail feathers on the bird, along with claws on the wings, a pointed nose and teeth.

My drawing, on Arches 356 gsm paper, includes sand, acrylic paint, pencil, real and fake bird feathers. Earthy browns, gold and yellow oxide colours, along with real sand and feathers, convey a striking impression of the barren surroundings in which the fossil was found. This leaves the viewer with a curious sense of the immensely vast length of time since the bird was alive. I find all birds beautiful in their own unique way, and the Archaeopteryx has its own particularly twisted beauty which resonates with viewers; the skeletal figure and the age of the bird combine to create a remarkable impression, which I believe is conveyed in detail in the artwork.